23 February 2009 – NATO PA SECRETARY GENERAL DAVID HOBBS WELCOMES ADRIATIC CHARTER PARLIAMENTARY COOPERATION
Speaking in Tirana, NATO PA Secretary General David Hobbs today welcomed the Albanian Parliament’s initiative to launch a programme of cooperation with fellow Adriatic Charter countries Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Sharing a platform with Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha, Speaker of the Albanian Parliament, Jozefina Topalli, and
“Parliamentarians,” he said, “are central to the functioning of the
Stressing the importance of “parliamentary diplomacy” he noted that “parliamentarians are particularly well equipped to promote the
He noted that the experience of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly over the last two decades had shown that international contacts between parliamentarians provided key support for the reform process by calling upon Assembly members’ “wealth of expertise in parliamentary institutions, mechanisms for democratic oversight, and appropriate civil-military relations.”
Although the path to Euro-Atlantic integration could be a long one, Mr Hobbs said that the journey itself was rewarding. “The reforms needed to reach the ultimate destination are worthwhile in themselves… and will be felt well before the full integration process is complete.”
He underlined that the Assembly had long been a champion of NATO enlargement, and had consistently taken the view that NATO enlargement threatened no-one and added to everyone’s security and stability. NATO nations make good neighbours. “But even while calling for broad and early enlargement, the Assembly’s members have stressed that NATO membership must be performance based, awarded as a result of demonstrated achievement and not just aspirations.”
In closing, he said that the conference, organized by the Albanian Parliament and attended by Adriatic Charter parliamentarians indicated the commitment to make those aspirations a reality.
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